Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!!

I whipped up a batch of cupcakes this morning and used my buttercream frosting recipe but used a combination of regular milk and lemon juice for the evaporated milk.  Not an overly lemon flavor, but just a himt to make it a little different.  Why, because it's my birthday and I can do whatever I want, that's why.  I love my birthday!

Abby was mad when she walked in the kitchen and asked what I was making and I said cupcakes.  She told me she should be making the cupcakes for me since it was my birthday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

I love homemade yogurt, especially when it's mixed with fresh fruit or homemade jam and topped with nuts or granola.  I am happy I decided to acutally post and not pretend like I can remember exactly how I did this for the next time I want to make yogurt.  Now, I can come straight to my blog and find it.

I made my best yogurt ever yesterday. I used greek plain yogurt instead of the regular plain yogurt which I have always used before.  I only used it because I really really wanted to make a new batch of homemade yogurt and it was the only kind that the store I was in that day had in a small container that wasn't flavored. I think it was Yoplait brand. I used 6 cups skim milk, 1/2 cup powdered milk, and the whole small container of yogurt. This time, there was no whey left floating on top; it all got absorbed into the yogurt. And the texture was very smooth and creamy like store bought yogurt, not grainy at all.

6 cups skim milk
1/2 cup powdered milk
6 oz plain greek yogurt (Yoplait)

Warm milk in microwave to 175 F. 2 min each time with about 1 min to 30 second break and stirred in between each cycle. Once the milk is warmed, stir in the powdered milk.  Cool milk to 105 F (I put min in the fridge to speed up the process). Add 1 cup of the warm milk to yogurt and gently stir until combined. Add 1 more cup of warm milk to yogurt and gently stir until combined. Pour milk/ yogurt mixture into the rest of the milk. Pour into 3 pint and 1 half pint jars with lids (or whatever combination will fit in your crock pot). Put the jars in the crock pot, fill with warm water to the rim of the pint jar. Alternate crock pot between warm and off for 6-8 hours. I think I did warm for hour then off for hour cycles, but not really regularly just whenever I happened to walk through the kitchen and think about it. 

Ideally, you want the water temperature to stay consistent between 100-110 F, so you can put your thermometer in the water and use it to help you know when to cycle the crock pot on and off.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Subway Art

My classes are over until Fall, so lets get down to some serious crafting!  First up, some cool subway art I made today. 

I'm not exactly sure what I will do with it yet, but it was fun to sit down and create it this morning.  I will probably get it printed out and then put it in a thrift store frame when I find one the right size.  Here is what the girls were up to this morning while I got creative.  They went outside and built this awesome fort from some big boxes we had.  Abby was not in the mood for me to take her picture because it meant I interrupted her play time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Abby's Haircut

Today- after the new short haircut.  I pinned her bangs to the side with a bobby pin.  She loves her new haircut and apparently there was a whole new attitude that came with it.  She loves how it looks, and I love that it is short and will have less tangles because the girl's head is super tender. 

Last Monday- the before hairstyle; basically, nonexistant.  Just straight with bangs she wants to grow out.  We were ready for a change because she is playing t-ball now and I make her put it in a ponytail, which she hates.  But, if we just leave it loose, it ends up blowing in her face and she can't see to catch the ball.
Notice the shirt?  It is her favorite, covered with owls and not "floppy" on her.  She wears it over and over again as soon as I get it clean.

FYI it is REALLY hard to find pictures on the internet of cute little girl's haircuts that are short.  This time I actually took some pics with me of things we didn't want and a couple that were sort of what we wanted.  I have figured out showing them what I don't want helps a lot, so that even if it isn't exactly what we had in mind, we will still be happy with the result.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brazilian Lemonade

I saw this recipe the other day and decided it would be a great afternoon treat for a warm sunny spring day like we are having today. Despite its name, it's actually made with limes not lemons.  I followed the exact recipe from Our Best Bites, but I will copy and paste it here for you.

Brazilian Lemonade
4 juicy limes (try and find ones with thin, smooth skins; they’re the juiciest and the thin skin cuts down on the chance of your drink being bitter)
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk

Wash limes thoroughly with soap; you need the soap to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you’re using the WHOLE lime, baby. Cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8ths.  You might need to do this next part in 2 batches depending on the size of your blender.  Place the limes, water, and sugar in your blender, and pulse 5 times. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a pitcher (the one you’ll serve the lemonade in) and pour the blended mixture through the strainer and into the pitcher. Use a spoon to press the rest of the liquid into the pitcher. Add sweetened condensed milk and mix it in with a wisk. You may want to taste test it at this point.  If it’s bitter, just add some more sugar and maybe a little more sweetened condensed milk.

Serve immediately over lots of ice.  The longer you let it sit, the more bitter it will taste, so don't mix it up long before you plan to serve it.

The girls and I bought the ingredients this morning at the grocery store.  We went to the produce department where I asked Abby to find me 4 limes.  She is 6 years old and the girl didn't have a clue what a lime was.  So, I did what any good mother would do, I told her I wasn't going to help her find them, and asked her how she could figure out what one was.  I'm so mean.

We were standing right next to the very nice produce man so he overheard our entire conversation.  Finally, she got up the nerve to ask him what one looked like and he was very happy to help her.  He told her they were green  and shaped like a lemon, and then pointed her in the general direction.  Hello, that's what he's there for child!  They have been learning about community helpers at school and whether they provide goods or services, so I thought this was a great lesson for her to learn today.

And, just because this recipe lacks pictures, here are some limes in case someone else doesn't know what they are either.  Aren't they pretty?
To read the ingredients, it might sound kind of gross at first with the sweetened condensed milk and limes instead of lemons, but trust me, don't knock it until you've tried it.  At the store, Aly swore she was NOT drinking that nasty milk stuff in a can, yet when I held up a cup and yelled into the backyard "Girls come taste this!" she came willingly.  Abby got a small sip and said "yummy", Aly took a sip, snatched the cup away and took off running so she could have the whole thing to herself.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Laundry Sign

Last weekend, the local news stations started predicting a pretty substantial snowstorm with possible power outages.  I planned ahead with some craft projects to keep me busy even if we did lose power.   In other words, something that didn't require a sewing machine.  So, I decided to finally make a sign to hang over my Laundry Room door. 
My sign measures approximately 22.5" x 5.5".  Here is a PDF of it in case anyone wants to make their own.  The word Laundry measures 15.5" x 3.5" and Wash, Dry, Fold measures 15" x 2.5".  I also included the word Room in the file in case anyone wanted to add that to their sign.  ENJOY!
I was lucky enough to find a nice rough piece of wood in the scrap bin at Home Depot last week for a grand total of 51 cents.  It was about 4 ft long so I had them cut it for me.  I was happy to find out that they will even cut scrap bin pieces for free, not just full price ones.
I used a hammer and wrench to beat the wood up for a nice distressed look.  Actually, I let the girls take out some frustration on it.  They loved it!
Then, I painted it with a coat of light blue since I was running short on white paint and wasn't sure how much the wood would (giggle) soak up.
Abby was REALLY wanting to paint, and since I was going for a distressed look anyway, I let her paint the coat of white paint on for me.  While painting, she asked me, "Mommy, is painting fun?"  Almost like she wasn't sure if she was allowed to have fun while I was letting her work on one of my "real" projects.
I like how some of the blue is showing through from the first coat of paint.  I think it adds a nice touch to the distressed look I was going for.
I printed out the words in a couple of different sizes of a font that I liked.  I originally planned for it to say Laundry Room, but liked this arrangement better once I got it all laid out.
I colored on the back of the printed words with a pencil, then taped it to my board, and traced over the letters on the right side to transfer the image.  Wish I had thought to pick up some transfer paper to make the job a lot faster and easier.
All that was left to do was to paint the letters in.  While this was not quite as elaborate as some of the things I have painted before, I really like it and think it looks great against the red wall of my kitchen.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How Did I Do Meeting Last Years Goals?

1) Organize my craft and sewing supplies.
This one still needs a ton of work.  I have moved and re-organized lots of things, but it is a never ending process.
2) Organize my work stuff- no more cardboard boxes everywhere.
Doing better on this one.
3) Finish at least 1 quilt.
Yup, finished 2 actually. 1 for myself and 1 for my Mama.
4) Spend more time actually playing with the girls and let them sew more too.
We definately did more sewing during the spring and summer.
5) Get more exercise. (the new Wii the girls got for Christmas should help)
Did great in the spring then I had a much harder semester of school and just didn't have time to go to the gym like I did before.  Studying was more important.
6) Manage my time better. (an absolute must since I'm going back to school)
Definately accomplished this goal!
7) Cook from scratch more and do a better job of menu planning so we eat healthier.
Not so much, need to keep working on this one.
8) Last but not least, find a church to go to. Especially for the girls to be in Sunday School. We have just been lazy about going and finding a church we like since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. (Angel, we would love to visit yours sometime.)
The girls and I have been going to Pendleton United Methodist Church whenever the girls are in town, not visiting their Grandparents.  We really like it there.  It is small and it feels a lot like the church I grew up in, Olivet Presbyterian Church.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mama's Whirlygig Quilt

First I have to say it was VERY hard for me to not let Mama know I was working on this quilt.  I usually keep her updated every step along the way from the inspirational design, choosing the fabric, how many blocks I have finished, making the sandwich and doing the quilting, then finally making and sewing on the binding.  I only almost told her I was working on a new quilt once and thankfully she wasn't paying too close of attention and didn't comprehend what I said.
I even had this quilt finished before Thanksgiving and kept myself from giving it to her early.  Needless to say, she was VERY suprised when she opened it.  It is a lap size quilt measuring approximately 51" x 59".  I forgot to measure it once it was all finished, but that was the last measurement I took when I had the top completely finished. 

The print fabrics are from a couple of fat quarter bundles of Donna Dewberry fabric I picked up at a craft show a few years ago.  The cream is leftover fabric from when I made quilts for my 2 girls.
I think I found my original inspiration from Quilting on Turtle Hill, but there are lots of free tutorials out ther if you just google whirlygig quilt.